Essay on Dashain Festival – 900+ Words
With the variety of cultures and traditions in Nepal, there are also many festivals that come along with it. Nepal especially is a Hindu country with most of its residents being Hindus. And with that, we have a Dashain festival. Dashain is the country’s most widely celebrated festival by all Nepalese. It is not only limited to Hindus but also other people with different cultural backgrounds. Dashain is the longest and most celebrated festival in Nepal. Dashain is also called in different names such as Dasain, Vijaya Dashami, and Dashera (India). Even if the names differ from place to place, people celebrate Dashain with the same zeal and enthusiasm.
In general terms, Dashain is the celebration of the victory of good over evil. This festival symbolizes that the good always prevails over the bad. This festival signifies unity, the victory of truth, and the inception of happiness. It is the most auspicious festival that is celebrated over a fortnight. Nepalese workers working abroad take long leaves and return back to their homes to celebrate the festival. The festival falls in September or October, starting from the Shukla Paksha (bright lunar fortnight) of the month of Ashwin and ending on Purnima, the full moon.
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Among the fifteen days on which it is celebrated, the most important days are the first, seventh, eighth, ninth, tenth, and fifteenth. In Hindu Mythology the festival of Dashain represents the victory of the Goddess Durga over the demon named Mahishasura which had created terror in the world where gods lived (Devaloka). The first nine days of the Dashain symbolizes the battle which took place between them while on the tenth day, Goddess Durga finally killed the demon. There is also another mythology where this festival symbolizes the victory of Ram over Ravan which is recorded in Ramayana.
The first day of Dashain is called Ghatasthapana While the last day is also known as Bijaya Dashami. On the first day of Dashain, Ghatasthapana, priests worship and pray to Goddess Durga to bless her presence in a pot (Kalash) which is filled with holy water. The seeds of Barley, wheat, rice are also planted which is later important for the festival. The seventh day of Dashain is known as Phulpati. It is one of the major celebrations occurring In Dashain. In Fulpati, the royal Kalash (bronze pot) filled with holy water, banana stalks, Jamara, and sugar cane tied with red cloth is carried by Brahmans on a decorated palanquin under a gold-tipped and embroidered umbrella.
The government officials also join the Fulpati parade. There is also a majestic display of the Nepalese Army along with a celebratory firing of weapons that continues for ten to fifteen minutes honoring Phulpati on the public grounds of Tudikhel. With this, the Dashain feasting starts. The eighth day of Dashain is known as Maha Ashtami. On this day, people start to sacrifice buffaloes, goats, hens, and ducks in temples throughout the nation. This is done to appease the bloodthirsty goddess Kali, who is Goddess Durga’s most fierce manifestation. Animals throughout the nation are sacrificed.
The government also approves of the sacrifice. The amount of sacrifices done is tremendous. After the blood is offered to the Goddess, the meat is taken home and eaten as food blessed by the divinity. The ninth day of Dashain is called Mahanavami. On this day Vishvakarman, the god of creation is worshiped as it believed that all the things which help us in making a living should be kept happy. So on this special day, vehicles and other pieces of equipment are offered fowl blood and prayers are done in hopes of having a safe time wherever. The tenth day of Dashain, Bijaya Dashami is the most awaited day for all.
It is a grand day where People put on new and fine clothes and visit neighbors and relatives (superior) to pay respect and get blessings from elders. The elders put on Tika (a mixture of yogurt, rice, colors) on the forehead of the younger. They are generally red in color as it symbolizes the blood that ties the family together. They bless their younger generation and also hand out sums of money (Dakshina). After putting the Tika on The forehead they also put green plants grown with hybrid seeds of rice, maize, barley, and others. This green plant is Jamara and used as the flower in Dashain. This is a joyous festival where people get together, eat and drink and celebrate to their heart’s content.
They forget their worries and indulge themselves in joy. The schools, offices, workplaces are closed and people come and celebrate the festival with their kiths and kins. The most excited for this festival are also kids. Some get new clothes and eat delicious foods, they get to travel around places to visit their relatives and enjoy the livelihood. This celebration goes on till the 15th day of Dashain where it ends. The great festival of Nepal ends like this, with great enthusiasm and joy people wait for the next year for the Dashain celebration.
Everything has a dark side, and so does Dashain. People believe that Dashain is a festival for the grand, and everything they do must be grand. It is not necessary to buy new clothes or expensive jewelry or receive and give heavy sums of money. We must celebrate festivals with what we have and celebrate them joyously. People also indulge in heavy drinking and gambling activities as well. Even more so, the amount of sacrifices during this festival is sky-high numbers. There are also protest and campaigns where people urge the government to stop the sacrificial ceremony of the animals and offer fruits instead. The festival of Dashain is to be celebrated with great zeal and is not to be hampered by social evils and malpractices.